This sh*t is hard.
If starting a company was easy, everyone would be doing it. The reality is that it is incredibly difficult to start a company, whether you are utilizing an already proven business model or creating a new one. Granted, if you open a dry cleaners in a new suburb that is lacking one, the odds are that you will succeed, because the risk profile is much lower than launching a tech startup, but the reward is also correspondingly lower.
I left a meeting last week with a BIG potential partner and wasn’t super-excited at the outcome. We gained tremendous insights into ways we can improve our technology, and now have line-of-sight on a solution should we encounter the “happy” problem of working with thousands of websites from the same hosting provider’s server. Single server. Not across servers. Thousands of sites on one server.
This is not a problem we are encountering right now, but this partner is thinking about deep scalability problems we may encounter should our service become ubiquitous. Why was the meeting tough? Because I want to partner now. Not when we have scalability for trillions of websites perfectly figured out.
Knowledge is power, though, and I am glad we had this meeting now – and have a definitive response from the CEO. In similar fashion, I was able to speak with two CEOs of other potential partners at HostingCon last week, and also rule them out as partners for right now. For me, one way of finding the *right* partners is by crossing companies/organizations with a certain profile or vertical off the list. Each company crossed off is one step closer to the perfect partner.
So as not to fill the post with doom & gloom, at HostingCon I was also able to connect with a CEO whom I have been interacting with for a short while. There is a good chance we will be integrating with their technology and offering CodeGuard to their users. And now I know who to focus on finding more of : ).
Don’t give up. It has to be tough. And you wouldn’t want it any other way.
- David Moeller, CEO of CodeGuard
Atlanta Startup Community Bottom Line: Don’t ever give up. Finding who isn’t your customer can be just as valuable – in terms of ROI – as finding who is.